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Putin suspended as 'honorary president' of the International Judo Federation

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Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been suspended as the honorary president of the International Judo Federation.

On Sunday, the IJF released a statement saying that it was suspending Putin from his position as the “Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation,” Reuters reported.

The IJF’s statement said, “In light of the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine, the International Judo Federation announces the suspension of Mr. Vladimir Putin’s status as Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation.”

Putin, who is 69 years old, holds a black belt in judo and has even co-authored a book titled “Judo: History, Theory, Practice” and has previously trained alongside the Russian Olympic judo team.

Black belt Putin shows off judo moves with Olympic athletes www.youtube.com

He also holds the rank of grandmaster in taekwondo. He was granted this title in 2013 by the president of the World Taekwondo Federation.

Putin being stripped of this honorary title is just the latest, and the most benign, of the measures taken against him in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On Saturday, leaders from the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States released a joint statement that said the Western allies were committed to “ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed form the SWIFT messaging system.”

By removing Russian banks from the SWIFT network, the Western leaders committed to restricting Russia’s ability to manipulate its currency to reduce the immediate fiscal impact of Western sanctions and specifically targeting Russian officials and oligarchs who encouraged military aggression with sanctions.

Restricting Russian access to the SWIFT network will greatly damage the Russian economy and make engaging in international commerce extremely difficult. This move will isolate Russia and stands to prevent it from exporting natural gas and fossil fuels.

The British Petroleum Company plans to divest from state-owned energy firms in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, despite having done business with them for more than three decades.

BP Chairman Helge Lund said, “Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region. BP has operated in Russia for over 30 years, working with brilliant Russian colleagues. However, this military action represents a fundamental change.”

On Sunday, the leadership of the European Union announced that it would be closing Europe’s airspace to all aircraft of Russian origin.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said, “We are shutting down the EU airspace for Russians. We are proposing a prohibition on all Russian-owned, Russian-registered, or Russian-controlled aircraft. These aircraft will no more be able to land in, take off, or overfly the territory of the EU.”

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